Malaysia’s 130-Million-Year-Old Rainforests

ibis malaysia rainforest 700 wikicommons

Malaysia’s lush natural environment is being celebrated in a beautiful new art photography book produced by Tun Jeanne Abdullah, wife of Tun Adullah Ahmad Badawi, former prime minister of Malaysia. Aiming to inspire the people of Malaysia to conserve their country’s national heritage, the 314-page coffeetable book showcases the 130 million-year-old rainforests of Malaysia.

Launched at Bait Badawi, the residence of Jeanne and Tun Abdullah, the publication features creative photography and commentaries from academicians and world-renowned conservationists. Titled, Pusaka Akar, meaning “The Roots of Our Heritage,” the cover design is a painting by renowned Malaysian artist Syed Nahar.

Awakening the Consciousness of Malaysia’s Children and Adults

“I hope that through these beautiful photographs and illustrations by Malaysian artists as well as architectural motifs inspired by nature, people will take interest in getting to know the variety of plants and flowers we have in the country,” said Jeanne, speaking to Malaysia media company, The Star.

“It took four years to publish this book,” she noted, “and the greatest challenge we faced was getting funding for it. I am so happy to see it completed and in my hands.” Saying that the book was a culmination of elements that drove her passion in greater depth, Jeanne added, “The book serves as an instrument to awaken the consciousness of children and adults towards preserving rainforests for future generations.” She also said, “We owe it to our future generation to look after nature.”

image(Image note and source: Malaysia Rainforest, wikicommons)

Inspired by Prince Charles’ Speech on Islam and the Environment

Containing many thought-provoking commentaries, Jeanne said, “My favourite part of the book is the excerpt from the Prince of Wales during his speech on Islam and the environment at the Islamic Centre, Oxford University in London in 2011, on page 57.”

Displaying the page, she continued, “This is one of the things that inspired me to continue working on the book.” Malaysia is a nation with a majority population of Muslims, and both Jeanne and her husband are active leaders of Malaysia’s Islamic community.

The Overwhelming Peace and Calm in a Garden

Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan attended the book launch, as well as Vanu Gopala Menon, Singapore’s ambassador to Malaysia, and executive director Tan Sri Kamal Hashim, of Star Publications (M) Bhd.

Impressed with the book’s content, Kamal lauded Jeanne and Landskap Malaysia’s production of the high quality publication. “It is an excellent book that provides deep insight into Malaysia’s incredible natural reserve,” said Kamal. “I am confident this book will be both educational and memorable for readers.”

“When I was a child,” said Jeanne, “I was taught how to appreciate the leaves and plants, as well as the overwhelming sense of peace and calmness that envelops you when visiting a garden. I want to see this appreciation spread.” She added, “Compared to educating adults, it is very easy to teach the young on how to value nature.”

Making Mother Earth a Better Place to Live in

Illuminating the magnificent wonder of Malaysia’s 130-million-year-old rainforests with special emphasis on nature conservation was the brainchild of Jeanne, and affectionately supported by her husband. It was published by Landskap Malaysia, a non-profit nature conservation organisation, of which Jeanne serves as chairman and generous patron.

Pusaka Akar is available at and proceeds from the impressive art photography book will go towards funding forestry conservation initiatives in Malaysia. Tun Jeanne Abdullah offered her hope for the book’s success: “We are in debt to nature for all that it has provided for us. I hope through the rich content of this book, more people will be motivated to find new solutions to replace fossil fuel and make Mother Earth a better place to live in.”

image(Image note and source: Malaysia Rainforest, wikicommons)
(Top image note and source: Ibis in Malaysia Rainforest, wikicommons)
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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.